Step 1: Make sure the underlying structure is working well
Like any building we need to have a good foundation. If the foundation is dodgy, the likelihood is that the rest of the building wont be as strong as it should be. When looking at our bodies, we need to make sure that the structure (our skeleton) is working as well. This is where chiropractic care could help.
Chiropractors can assess the spine and see if there are any restrictions or dysfunction present that could affect how the rest of the body works. Chiropractic care restores the health and function of your spine, thereby improving the communication between your brain, your body and the environment. If the brain can accurately perceive what is going on in the body, it will be able to control it better.
This means chiropractic care could help free up some 'stuck' joints and improve body function and therefore help the next 2 steps work more efficiently.
Step 2: Remove any muscular imbalances that are present
If you have had poor posture for a while, it is likely that you would have developed some muscular imbalances. This is like I explained with Upper Cross Syndrome in the previous post. Having rounded shoulders and forward head posture leads to tightness in the chest and the upper back/neck, but weakness in the mid back and front of the neck. In order to improve your posture in this area you are going to have to release these muscles through appropriate stretching and soft tissue work before you move onto the next step.
Simply skipping this step and moving on to strengthening without altering the imbalance will slow your results.
Step 3: Strengthen the right muscles
Once we have made sure the foundation and nerves are working better and we have released some of the tight muscles, it is now time to move on to the fun part, strengthening the right muscles.
If we are thinking of the mid to upper back and shoulders, you will need to strengthen the Rhomboids, the lower traps and the muscles stabilising the shoulders.
Hopefully this 3 step process makes sense and you can see how important each of these steps are. In the next few weeks I will post some blogs and videos on how you can mobilise the mid back, loosen up tight muscles and then some good exercises that can be used to strengthen the upper back and shoulders. The outcome of all of this will hopefully be improved posture and less upper back and shoulder pain. Your body will thank you for it.